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 No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:47 am

Barry
Can you please give the source for that story because it's not one I've ever come across. I'm not saying it's apocryphal because you may have come across something extraordinary but I have read an awful lot on this subject and I've never even heard of a whisper of anything close. This isn't a third-hand dramatization of Joseph Williams being dragged out from the hospital is it? I am very curious.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:00 am

How would anyone know what the intentions of the Zulus were in relation to body parts
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:18 am

24th,i have a nice piece ( no pun )
on harvesting, as for the Zulu dead
yes they were buried the same day,
one can only hope they were all dead
before they went into that
mass grave. Julian yes re J william's.
xhosa
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:21 pm

Xhosa
J Williams, Doesn't that refer to him being dragged out of the Hospital and killed? AS per the statement by John Williams, comes from Henry Hooks Statement.
I think Barry was referring to a soldier being dragged over the barricades and his execution being witnessed. Josephs death was only witnessed by John Williams: "They've dragged Joseph Williams out and killed him."


Cheers Mate thanks for the help on the other issue.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:33 pm

I've just double-checked all the casualties and their cause of death and there is no-one ripped to pieces.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Yeah all I got was the Joseph Williams.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:31 pm

springbok. agree  Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:58 pm

J.S.A. present..Mpatshana,Socwatsha,Nsuze.

Zibebu fetched intelezi medicines from a deceased
man, pieces were cut off him.a piece was taken from his
forehead;
it was taken by a doctor, where marked below.
( below is a crude face with incisions on the fore head).

His rectum,penis, bone of right forearm ( throwing arm )
also the cartlidge from the bottom of the breastbone were taken.
Socwatsha: the rectum is taken so as to cause fear
by causing ' agitation ' in stomach,and to bring on diarrhoea.
this is the method of causing fear. the doctor then treats
his own Impi with these bits of human flesh...

Apology's to any feint heart's out there.
xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:04 pm

i saw several of our dead ripped open
and otherwise mutilated.
Rorkes Drift and the British Museum
the life of Henry Hook vc. B Johnson p 28

cant think where the account of J William's
is,being dragged through the doorway into
the hospital corridor, by quite a few who
stabbed him, held him down and virtually
quarter'd him. i'm sure some body will fill in
the blank's..if i have,nt dreamt it. xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Joseph William's was fighting desperately with the
bayonet to keep the savages at bay. At this point
the bodies of fourteen warrior's lay around the doorway
before the Zulu's eventually seized Private Joseph
William's and stabbed him with their spears before
mutilating his body and ripping out his intestines.
Private John William's (Fielding ) from.
John William's vc a biography..W.G.Lloyd p 33
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:33 pm

xhosa
Not into the corridor but outside. It's in Williams's account.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:44 pm

corrected and accepted.thank you Julian Salute 
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barry

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:06 am

Hi JW,
I presume this report I quoted becomes apocryphal  because you have never heard of it before??
So, my initial source, is Trooper Henry Lugg's statement to the  NMP C.O.I, in which this event was reported and, as well, in Tpr Clarke's war diaries, vol 1 page 168. Clarke was part of Chelmsford's relieving force and in attendance at RD, with  Dartnell on 23/01. When he arrived there early am that day he met his friend  Trooper Henry Lugg who told him, in graphic detail all that he had seen that terrible night.  Clarke saw all of the dead mutilated bodies of the defenders and questioned  Lugg who said that he witnessed this  particular killing  but said the man was alive at the time. Now Bancroft ( ISBN 1868421848)  picks up on this particular story and repeats it , but said that the man had already died.  
In terms of the general Zulu brutalities (butchery) at  RD many AZW authors mentioned it. Holt on page 69 of History of the Mounted Police of Natal does too, Bancroft mentions it many times throughout his work and Greaves on page 183 and  Glover amongst others, on page 110. Some of these authors quote Hitch's account as their source.
Now, one error reappearing in many contemporary writings on the AZW, and of academic value only, was that 375 enemy were reported  killed at the parapets at RD. This number was the count done on the first day (23/01) by the burial parties. However on the morning of the 24th another 7 dead were found under torn down roof thatch in the kraal, thus increasing the real head count of enemy kia to 382. Many others who were carried by their comrades or crawled away and expired, are not included in that tally.

regards

barry
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:09 pm

Hi Barry,
Do not take offence. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I was careful to write "I am NOT saying it is apocryphal because you may have come across something extraordinary".
No criticism was intended and I hope none taken because your post was important.
I have a photocopy of the original typescript of Clarke’s My Career in South Africa (31184 MS CLA 1.092 from KCAL) so I appreciate that the page numbering may be different from the ref you quoted. All I can find is this on page 27:
“Seeing the manner in which our wounded had been mutilated after being dragged from the hospital (men who were wounded in the skirmish on the 12th January) we were very bitter and did not spare wounded Zulus.”
As you say, Clarke was with Chelmsford’s returning force. He could not know that the bodies had not been mutilated after death but he may have assumed so and he doesn’t name any individual who told him so (including Lugg). Apart from the NNC private, the patients who were killed were not wounded on 12th January.
Lugg’s letter of 24th April makes no mention of the incident you refer to, so, since the exact wording becomes important, are you able to quote from Lugg's statement to the NMP COI which I cannot find. It would be interesting to see his exact words.
It becomes very difficult when one looks at the casualties (see below) to work out who might be being referred to. Remember that Lugg was on the storehouse roof and in front of it. He couldn’t have seen what was happening on the far side of the hospital. John Williams was the only surviving witness to Joseph Williams, Horrigan and Hayden’s death and his description does not elaborate in the way described. It certainly all took place on the far side of the hospital. No-one else fits the bill according to the wounds received and no other primary source mentions anything approaching the horrors as described.
None of the secondary sources you named give their sources (except for Hitch but when you read his account he makes no mention of it). It would be good to get to the bottom of it.
Julian

KILLED IN ACTION

Europeans:

1st battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

1-24/1861 Private William Horrigan
Assegaied
25B/841 Private James Edmund Jenkins
Unknown
25B/625 Private Edward Nicholas
Gunshot through head

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/623 Sergeant Robert Maxfield G coy
Assegaied
25B/987 Private Robert Adams D coy
Unknown, killed in hospital
25B/1335 Private James Chick D coy
Gunshot
25B/801 Private Thomas Cole B coy
Gunshot through head
25B/969 Private John Fagan B coy
Gunshot
2-24/1769 Private Garret Henry Hayden D coy
Assegaied
25B/1051 Private John Scanlon A coy
Gunshot
25B/1398 Private Joseph Williams B coy
Assegaied

2nd battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent

Corporal William Anderson2
Gunshot through head

Natal Mounted Police

280 Trooper Sidney H. Hunter
Assegaied

Army Commissariat and Transport Department (civilian attachment)

Acting Storekeeper Louis Alexander Byrne
Gunshot through the head


African:

1st battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent

Private name unknown (a native of Mkungo’s isiGqoza)
Assegaied

TOTAL 15



DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION (DIED 23rd JANUARY 1879)

Europeans:

1st battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/1335 Private William Beckett
Assegai penetrated abdomen

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/1328 Lance-Sergeant Thomas Williams B coy
Gunshot left side of chest fracturing ribs

TOTAL 2



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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:42 pm

Julian
Barry is the custodian of the original Clarke diaries. I for one would really enjoy seeing Photostats of the incident in the original.
Barry has been kind enough in the past to quote extensively from the diaries, I hope he would extend that kindness. I have a collection of copies from original writings, Clark alas isn't amongst them.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Butchery at Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:22 pm

Hi JW, Springbok9,
Thanks for responding
It comes to the fore once again that the writings based on eyewitness experiences of the men on the ground  in the AZW conflict differ quite significantly with the official versions. Now, I have come to the conclusion that in terms of this mutilation issue, those gory details  were hushed up out of consideration for the families, and, or so as to prevent the breakfast marmalade curdling in the quiet English countryside.
The Clarke diaries in the public domain in the Killie  Campbell museum in Durban are a very much abridged versions of the hand written war diaries which run to some 9 manuscript size volumes  and stretch in time from 1878 until 1928, and cover three major wars and two minor ones. Whereas  the abridged version ends in about  1920 and is in the form of a general summary. This is the reason why the page numbers do not tally.
The original diaries are not in the public domain.  
This subject, however is an interesting  meaty one  for historians and  is showing enough conflict in basic substance to warrant further research.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:29 pm

barry wrote:
This subject, however is an interesting  meaty one  for historians and  is showing enough conflict in substance to warrant further research.
JW, Springbok & Barry -- Idea  Exclamation  agree  Salute 
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:32 pm

Barry
I am sure we'd all be very interested to hear more!
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PostSubject: Mh's at RD   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Hi All,
Whilst trolling through various AZW publications looking for any reference to the type of weaponry used by the Zulus at RD I came across this piece in "A Natal Family Looks Back", by Harry Lugg, the father of Henry, one of the RD defenders. In this work in which he writes about the life of Henry, and he describes an event where an old Zulu recounts the battle, and an incident in the kitchen of the laager during the attack. I have transcribed it verbatim from page 23, below, for those who don't have a copy of this interesting piece of Africana:

beginning of transcription:

Rorke's Drift was to have an interesting sequel some twenty three years later, when in 1902 Henry was carrying out inspections of war graves at RD and Isandlwana, where by chance he met an old Zulu warrior bearing a number of obvious war scars. A bullet had seared his scalp another through his shoulder and two through his calf, all received at Rorke's Drift.
Being anxious to hear the old mans version of the affair Henry got him to tell his story , being careful not to disclose his own participation in the affair. And what a story. Told as it could only by am old Zulu in a language rich in allegory and metaphor.
Soon, the old scene came back to life as the old fellow recounted the sound of rifle fire, the shouts of the Zulu war cry, "Usuthi, Usuthu. InKoma ka baba" as they rushed into the attack determined to prove their worth as worthy sons of a worthy sire., for this is what the cry implied: the crackling of the flames from the burning building , the groans of the wounded, and the din of battle generally. How often have I been privileged to hear such stories, and told in such a vivid way.
Another one of the stories Henry used to recall was of a Zulu who during the height of the RD fight , availed himself of the semidarkness to creep into the kitchen of the laager to light his smoking horn or gudu, from the glowing embers , and was promptly shot by Henry Lugg in the kitchen. When the old Zulu came to the end of this story, Henry casually asked him who the man was who had met his death inside the kitchen. Greatly taken aback the old Zulu exclaimed "kanti nawe wawukena? Wafa uMngumle! Sizinja ngaphansi kwezinyao zenu" . Translated this means "and you were there also?. and so perished uMngamule. We were merely dogs under your feet".
This was the material our men were up against, and as an example of Zulu pluck and endurance it should be known that when Isandlwana was attacked the Zulu army had only arrived there the night before after a march from Ulundi some 70 miles away.

end of transcription

What this incident illustrated too is that these two old diehards bore no animosity towards one another, only deep mutual respect.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Interesting story, but a bit of an unusual comment.
Barry wrote:
"We were merely dogs under your feet"
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:19 pm

i got it, i study the Zulu part of the
aZw, it could be construed as a
servile comment! but! the Zulu were,
are! a very proud people, i detect
irony in that old mans comment. just
my opinion.
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:56 pm

How many defenders made reference to the Zulu's having MH Rifles at Rorke's Drift was it just Bourne,
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:52 am

Just Bourne, but so did Mehlokazulu.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sun May 31, 2015 11:39 pm

Bonsoir à tous,

Ian Knight wrote on his blog about the myth "Zulus using British rifles at Rorke's Drift:
"But the rub is that the regiments who attack Rorke's Drift had been in reserve at iSandlwana, had not encountered significant numbers of British troops before crossing into Natal, and had not taken part in the looting of the camp (...)'


I have in mind a testimony by a border agent called FYNN who was with the relief column the 22 January.
After the arrival of the Chelmsford's column at Isandhlwana, FYNN found near the veterinary  surgeon's wagon "one ederly Zulu of the uThulwana  regiment still conscious but he died an hour later". (Source: "Zulu Victory: the epic of Isandlwana and the cover up " by Lock and Quantrill p.228 / Fynn, "My recollections of a famous campaign and a great disaster")

It's curious because The uThulwana, a crack regiment, was in reserve at Isandhlwana under the command of Prince Dabulamanzi and then participated in the attack of RD.

But according to Ian Knight in "Zulu Rising (p.485), it seems that  "several companies of the uThulwana had followed Qethuka in the attack on the camp at Isandlwana" [and didn't cross into Natal to attack RD].

Cheers.

Frédéric

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PostSubject: MH's at Rorkes Drift   Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:15 am

Bonsoir Frederic,

I think it would be very naive of us to believe that because no MH's were found at the RD battlefield that none were used by the enemy there.
Remember, these rifles were highly prized trophies of war, and would not have been left lying around by any Zulu; further, some of the defenders of RD, reporting hearing the characteristic roar of the MH being fired from the terraces, some hundreds of metres away. Meholkazulu's statement corroborated this too.
Being something of a powder head myself I believe that the accuracy of some of the fire from the enemy on the terraces could not have been achieved, had no MH been used there .
The annals also report that the stragglers from the Isandlwana massacre were attacked and robbed by some of the RD attackers, so the source of a few MH's is established by that fact.

regards

barry

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:18 am

Barry there were also reports of MH being purchased before the war began by the Zulu, Mehlokazulu I think refered to it.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:39 pm

"Being something of a powder head myself I believe that the accuracy of some of the fire from the enemy on the terraces could not have been achieved, had no MH been used there."

Barry, et al,

Are we sure about the accuracy of the enemy fire from the Shiyane?

Chard claimed that - "The fire from the rocks and caves on the hill behind us was kept up all this time and took us completely in reverse, and although very badly directed, many shots came among us and caused us some loss..."

However, as the Zulus were situated behind the cookhouse and ovens, and also amongst the rocks and ditches between the hill and the South wall, it would be nigh on impossible to attribute any 'hit' to a Zulu on the hill. Further more, if what you say is true and  Martini Henry's fired by the Zulus from the hill were responsible for a number of casualties, then why were none of the wounds amongst the defenders caused by such a weapon? As for those who were killed outright - The vast majority of these can be attributed as having been caused by other events.

Chard's choice of words - 'some loss' may simply mean one or two slight wounds from ricochets or spent balls, bullets that had somehow found their way into the yard.

The vast majority of defenders who were killed can be attributed as having been caused by something other than fire from the hill.

Personally I don't believe that any defender lost his life through Zulu gun fire from the Shiyane.

Neil
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:51 pm

RD was quite compact, in that the defenders, we're packed in the areas where the defences were. Even if the Zulus on the hill, didn't aim but just fired down, they're were bound to hit something. And we don't know how many Zulu's were firing down. Even if the Zulu's had found the odd MHR they wouldn't have had ammunition, maybe the odd one or two rounds. I do recall ( Neil Aspenshaw) saying the Zulu possibly didn't have the know how, on how to use the sighting system on the MH.

Mitford makes a good observation when he visited Isandlwana after the war. He found MH rounds with teeth marks in the lead, where the Zulu's had pulled the heads off to get at the black powder.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles found among the dead at RD    Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:32 am

I've previously posted on here the breakdown of the wounded at RD in regard to Firearms , there is no mention with any of those , either wounded , or KIA , being the result of a MH wound , there are detailed analysis of '' Balls '' or other calibers , so if there was a wound caused by a MH , I think it would've certainly rated a mention ! .
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:27 am

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PostSubject: No MH Rifles found among the zulu dead at RD    Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:04 pm

Chard your point being ?  
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:24 pm

We know Bourne thought the Zulus were using MHR, but do we know what made him think that, he heard the shots I think?
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PostSubject: No MH Rifles found among the zulu dead at RD    Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:54 pm

Ulundi
Bourne says he heard the wizz of MH Bullets , he also mentions zulu's looting rifles and ammunition at Isandlwana which he couldnt have possibly known on the day , he was writing or talking many years after the event , and I'm thinking , that having found out later it was the case , it quite probably gave Bourne a ' false Memory ' , '' Oh yes , I remember how I heard them on the day '' . Then if you still think Bourne is firmly creditable , you have to understand that a zulu , as primitive as he was was , say , finds one at 1.30 pm , and his able to use it by 4.30pm on the same day , which would be an outstanding achievement don't you think ? . As I've mentioned previously , none of the wounds described by D.B.Brown ( including Chard's previous post ) mention that Schiess was wounded by a MH round .Hope this clarifies it a little more for you ?
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:01 pm

Keith Smith made the following point on the RDVC site back in 2006.

"The current consensus is that no MHs were used at Rorke's Drift because the attacking Zulu regiments were the reserve and took no part in the fighting at Isandlwana. It also depends, however, on the route taken by the reserve to get behind Isandlwana hill. Most accounts suggest that the reserve crossed the plateau behind the right horn. Personally, I believe that they crossed the plain behind the 'head' (and I have the primary evidence to back it up). That being so, some few of them might have picked up MHs as they passed over the battlefield, although they would have been very few, if any at all. "

And on Bourne, Peter Ewart said the following (very much along the lines of Gary's reply).

"If Bourne mentioned in his 1936 interview the above point about Dyson & the RE, how reliable is it? Not very, I'd have thought. Any knowledge he had of which Zulu force moved where round the back of Isandlwana or who was in their way at the time can be nothing other than hearsay - second-hand, third-hand or whatever. And to mention it nearly 60 years later also surely detracts from its acceptability. I don't think you can latch on to claims made about things by people who weren't there - and Bourne can only have known Dyson's position from hearsay or later reading."

Peter E also asks whether in fact you can tell the difference simply by hearing the discharge (but no response on that, perhaps Neil has a view?). Otherwise, we come back to the route of the right horn! Over to you Frank.

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:45 pm

Littlehand
Back in 2012 on this thread you wrote in response to a request for the source of Hitch's remark about Zulu Martinis at RD:
"Each warrior was carrying a shield with his deadly asssgais in the other hand. Some of them were armed with rifles, recently, taken from our poor comrades who had been ammihilated at Isandlwana, We fired at them in our masses as they advanced, but there was some hesitation. Our shots knocked many of them down, but there were hundreds of them all over the place"

Source: Rorkes Drift. The immortal Anglo-Zulu War." [sic]

Hitch left 3 accounts. I've tried to trace the above quotation but cannot find it. He did write something similar in 1908 but not the exact words above. I'm assuming you're quoting direct from the named secondary work and I'm wondering if the author wrote with some 'artistic licence' here or whether there's a Hitch account I'm not familiar with? If the latter does the author give the source?

Frank
Do you happen to have handy the source for the Dabulamanzi buying guns pre-war remarks??
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:23 am

Julian
I'm back in Cape Town on Wednesday, tonight if we beat Australia today. I will revert.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:42 pm

Julian
I'm pretty sure it was Mehlokazulu, I will get the exact quote on Wednesday...... if I'm sober, Hell these bloody Aussies can drink !
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:15 pm

Frank,

Are there any purveyors of sandpaper amongst your drinking companions?

JY
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:33 pm

Make sure you don't rub them up the wrong way!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:13 pm

No worry's, they enjoy getting plastered. Joker
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:14 pm





The Zulu War Through Contemporary Eyes.
Introduced by Bob Carruthers

In this book, Methagazulu. States with reference to the Battle of Isandlwana and MH rifles.

" We ransacked the camp and took away everything we could find; we broken up the ammunition boxes and took out all the cartridges. We practised a great deal at our kraals with th rifles and ammunition. Lots of us had the same sort of rifles as the soldiers used, having brought the in our country, but some who did not know how to use it had to be shown by those who did."

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:54 pm

Original statement is in the RE journal I tthink
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:14 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Littlehand
Back in 2012 on this thread you wrote in response to a request for the source of Hitch's remark about Zulu Martinis at RD:
"Each warrior was carrying a shield with his deadly asssgais in the other hand. Some of them were armed with rifles, recently, taken from our poor comrades who had been ammihilated at Isandlwana, We fired at them in our masses as they advanced, but there was some hesitation. Our shots knocked many of them down, but there were hundreds of them all over the place"

Source: Rorkes Drift. The immortal Anglo-Zulu War." [sic]

Hitch left 3 accounts.  I've tried to trace the above quotation but cannot find it.  He did write something similar in 1908 but not the exact words above.  I'm assuming you're quoting direct from the named secondary work and I'm wondering if the author wrote with some 'artistic licence' here or whether there's a Hitch account I'm not familiar with?  If the latter does the author give the source?

Frank
Do you happen to have handy the source for the Dabulamanzi buying guns pre-war remarks??

Julian click on link below.

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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:57 pm

The notorious gun trader Mr John Dunn is a good bet for the source
of some of the prince's gun's.

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from great zulu commander's by IK.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:59 pm

Ahh i see what i did there..please swap the two pieces, bottom to the top.
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PostSubject: Hitch's account   Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:04 am

Hi All,

Well,........ there it is.
If we don't believe first hand accounts, why believe anything that the survivors reported about the battle. Just write your own version, it is a lot easier .
So, because the surgeon did not specifically report on the type of wounds he found on the dead and injured at Rorke's Drift, it does not mean that there were no defenders shot by Mh's there. Further, mention of wounds  caused  by ball, does not mean spherical lead balls , it, in military terminology   means  hard projectiles , ie , spire pointed, conical round nose, spherical or hollow pointed, lead or metal core, copper jacketed or not. These are All classed as ball.
Most of us who have been under incoming fire can tell very quickly what weapons the enemy is using. This determination comes not only from the crack or bang of the enemy weapon discharging, but also from the  effective range and the way the projectile passes over.
The  source of the Mh's used I believe probably came from the survivors of Isandlwana who were attacked  by the impi which  was at Rorke's Drift. Remembering that the Mh was a highly prized war trophy by the Zulu and any dropped would have been quickly picked up and taken away by the lucky Zulu who found it.
I think too that some of the effective fire on the barricades came in from the caves some 250 metres away, and if so, Mh's were probably used there.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:12 am

As I said some time ago in a previous post......having got his hands on a newly acquired Martini, it wouldn't make the Zulu a better shot......he would be the same poor shot but with a longer range.....

I have no doubt (but also no evidence) that the odd MH did not make it to RD but the 'owner' probably had very limited ammunition......given time, practice and ammo to practice with, the effectiveness of Zulu fire increased so much that the British commentated on it a few weeks later at Khambula.

He would have followed his tradition of cranking the sights up, to give the shot more power. I would have thought that shooting downhill would be more difficult for an inexperienced shooter (because of the fall of shot?)

Generally, you could say that majority of the British who were shot at RD should not 'take it personally' - the shooter wasn't aiming at you and it was all down to luck......

Cheers

Sime

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:41 am

Simon
I think part of the thinking is that
1) The Zulu were in possession of the MH before the battle
2) Some COULD have been picked up on the battlefield, along with ammunition.
3) Dabulamanzi was a pretty good shot and would have passed on that knowledge in training some of his men.
Before point 2 is hammered by history ( none of the Zulu were involved at iSandlwana) read the descriptions carefully when the men on the Oskaberg describe looking across at the saddle and seeing 4 regiments lined up and starting to advance towards RD. Did the reserve travel all the way around iSandlwana way to the North and then West only to climb back up the slope from the Manzimyama to re form on the saddle? Even if they did do the improbable they would have found quite a number of MH and a vast quantity of ammo. I think Barry once mentioned 400 000 rounds.
I think Fynn once made the point that the Zulu were under the impression that the harder the trigger was pulled the better the bullet flew.
Yet again Ive never heard a satisfactory explanation as to why MH rounds were found in the caves!
It will take a very brave man to categorically state that very definitely there were no MH fired by the Zulu at RD.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:29 am

Hi Frank,

I am becoming more and more convinced that the reserve followed the chest/left horn on to the plain and advanced through the camp to the saddle.....GHB mentions a large Zulu force between him and the camp - stationary (was it) on the plain.....but that is another story.....

Its a pity that the famous 'Coronation' photos of Dab were not take a few years later - he may have had a MH in them.

Whilst I can imagine rich powerful Zulus (or their 'favourites') having gotten their hands on a MH through trade, I am not sure about many of the 'rankers'.....somewhere I read the cost of firearms (in cattle & sheep) but I can not remember where.

Somewhere there is mention of the number of fire arms entering Zululand from Portuguese territory, broken down into obsolete and modern weapons etc - but what modern means.....Sniders? I spose MHs had been around (in service) for 8 years, so some could have made it on to the 19th Century e-bay.......

Just out of interest Barry - would the report of a Snider differ from a MH - similar sized/shape bullet etc.....I do not know myself.....maybe Neil knows.....

Cheers

Sime

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PostSubject: MH vs Snider   Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:17 am

Hi SRB,

In reply: although the two weapons, ie  MH /Snider are nominally the same calibre,.577/455) some colonial units had these and may have been picked up on the battlefield.  The cartridges are similar but not the same, the former being the longer of the two.  The MH cartridge was first manufactured from rolled brass, changing, for the better, later, to drawn brass cases.
Now as the barrel length, as in an organ pipe, quite literally  sets the tone and decibels ( ie the  kaboom), to the trained ear  there will be a discernable difference sufficient to discriminate one from the other. Other ballistic factors come in here too involving barrel oscillation after firing, spin of the bullet, ie the longer barrel imparting more spin( thus enhancing accuracy)  to the fired projectile.
The Mh could loft its bullet over some kilometres. Not too accurately however as measured in the MH Sandy Hook trials.
In terms of ammunition available on the Isandlwana battlefield there was upward of 400k MH rounds which was the entire 1,2/24 battalion reserves  in their boxes as well as all the NMP ,NC and NNH reserves which the enemy captured . Thus the total lost probably totaled upward of 500k

regards

barry


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